Scammers and impostors are trying to profit from the horrible war going on in Ukraine by tricking unsuspecting crypto users into helping the country through donations.
These individuals and groups appear to be using all means available including phishing web pages, forum posts, email links and fake crypto donation addresses shared via social platforms to trick users into “helping the ‘Ukraine’ by donating digital assets.
Cybersecurity firms and consumer experts have identified a number of these scams.
On the one hand, BleepingComputer has gained access to a number of phishing emails which appear to come from official sources such as npr.org or areas of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Action (OCHA).
The tech news outlet also came across several forum posts trying to trick users into posting fake crypto donation addresses.
“The attack on Ukraine brings much unrest and death to our families! Fundraising to provide targeted assistance to those in need, regardless of gender, age, nationality,” it read. on a forum. “A lot of people need food and clothes, someone is sleeping in the street!! Remember that every penny and every minute can save a life!”
The outlet also spotted questionable donation sites, including UkraineGlobalAid.com, a legitimate-looking website that encourages donations but is filled with broken links. Notably, the website’s social media links are empty.
Before that, the blockchain analytics company Ellipticalwhich reports crypto donations from Ukraine, warned against such scams.
“Scammers also appear to be taking advantage of the current situation by tricking unsuspecting users into donating to Ukrainian causes,” the company said. “Elliptic has identified a number of fraudulent crypto fundraising scams that exploit the current situation.”
Also, a major cybersecurity company Avast also warned users about crypto scams trying to take advantage of the situation in Ukraine in a recent blog post.
“Avast security experts have detected scammers pretending to be Ukrainian nationals affected by the current conflict asking for Bitcoin on social media,” the firm said.
Avast mentioned that there have been similar scams in the past, adding that “these attackers do not operate ethically” and exploit every opportunity to extract money from other people.
However, many scammers aren’t particularly hard to spot because their accounts are largely fake (usernames consist of letters and numbers with no profile picture or meaningful bio). Moreover, they immediately mention crypto donations and share their addresses.
Security studies firm ESET also identified several examples of crypto scams trying to exploit the situation in Ukraine. The company has shared two websites (help-for-ukraine.eu and tokenukraine.com) which are considered phishing attempts.
Additionally, there has been a lot of talk over the past two days about the Ukrainian government’s inbound airdrop for crypto donors. And although the airdrop itself is confirmed, nothing surrounds it. It’s a breeding ground for crooks.
Etherscan shows that 7 billion so-called Peaceful World (WORLD) tokens were created on March 2 and sent to Ukraine’s crypto donation address. At this point, it’s important to note that while many believe it could be the airdrop in question, nothing related to it has been officially confirmed.
However, Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mikhail Fedorov said today that the airdrop has been cancelled, along with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) announced soon to support the armed forces.
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